By Liz Doup

iStock_000003240227SmallFor a healthy lifestyle, eating nourishing food and exercising regularly should lead your top 10 list of things to do. But developing other good habits can go a long way in helping you feel good, stay healthy and remain safe.

What To Do — Three Tips

Eat a balanced diet emphasizing a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, and foods loaded with sugar and salt.

Make physical activity part of your daily routine and include aerobic activities, such as swimming and cycling, and strength-building exercises, using free weights or resistance machines.

Get enough sleep so your body and mind have time to rest and recover. Too little sleep increases your risk of accidents.

What Not To Do — Three Tips

Don’t use tobacco products. They’re linked with serious, life-threatening conditions, including various cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses.

Don’t use illegal drugs. They can impair a person’s ability to make wise decisions and repeated use can result in serious physical problems, including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Repeated use can result in addiction.

Don’t drink too much alcohol, if at all. Overindulgence impedes the ability to think clearly and increases risk of accidents. It also can cause life-threatening physical problems, including liver failure.

Follow The Rules — Two Tips

See a doctor regularly. Annual checkups can spot medical issues before they become serious. Women should check with their doctor on scheduling gynecological exams and mammograms. Keeping children’s immunizations up to date can help avoid certain illnesses, such as chicken pox and measles.

Follow safety rules concerning vehicle seat belts, motorized tools, recreational vehicles and bike and motorcycle helmets.

How To Cope — Two Tips

Practice stress relief. Find something that helps you cope with the pressures of everyday life. Anything that works for you — deep breathing, exercise, meditation, a hobby, religion — is the right choice.

Be social. Staying connected with family, friends or colleagues builds a support system that can make good times more fun and bad times less stressful.

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